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Dallas Is Voted The World’s Best Skyline

Justin Terveen
Dallas has earned the honor of "Best International Skyline" in an online contest.

Dallas’ skyline is striking – and it’s been deemed the best in the whole world. Dallas has been voted “Best International Skyline” in a contest by USA Today and 10Best.

Big D was among 20 nominees for the honor. Competitors included Chicago, Seattle, Paris, Kuala Lumpur and Rio de Janeiro.

A panel of architects selected the 20 cities – and readers were given four weeks to vote.

Chicago placed second. Rio de Janeiro third. Toronto and New York rounded out the top five.

What USA Today says

Here’s what USA Today and 10Best say about Dallas:

The highly recognizable cityscape - regularly featured in the 1980s hit series 'Dallas' and other more recent reality shows - took a strong majority of votes, despite stiff competition from #2 finisher Chicago.    In recent years, Dallas has added colorful interactive lighting to its skyline, giving it 8 extra hours per day to impress travelers. Nighttime flights into DFW - one of the nation's busiest airports - often give passengers a memorable view of what has become an extravaganza.  (An early adapter to colorful nighttime lighting of a downtown was Albuquerque, New Mexico).    

Here’s the top 10

  1. Dallas
  2. Chicago
  3. Rio de Janeiro
  4. Toronto
  5. New York
  6. Washington, D.C.
  7. St. Louis
  8. Hong Kong
  9. San Francisco
  10. Seattle

What the experts say

"Dallas became initially identifiable by the opening credits of an infamous '80s TV show," expert Preston Kissman told USA Today and 10Best. "The contemporary Dallas skyline tells a story of big banking, big oil, big money, and the occasional big bust."

James Adams said: "Dallas has continued to stay flashy. Controversially, it has done this not with the height or style of its newest architecture, but rather through an internal race to adorn its existing and new icons with colorful interactive lighting that cannot be ignored."

About the contest

WFAA-TV reports:

USA Today/10Best is a stand-alone travel website which launches a different contest each week. This is Dallas's 12th nomination in the contest, which is just over a year old, and its second 1st Place Finish. Big Tex recently took top honors as the "Best Quirky Landmark in the USA." The city itself took 7th place for Best City for Shopping. The Dallas Zoo, AT&T Stadium and Southwest Airlines have also been winners in past contests.

Some beauty shots

Big D is beautiful -- day or night.

Credit Katherine Wells /

Credit Kenny Tong /

Credit Kenny Tong /

Credit VanHart /

Credit mandritoiu /

Here are the five tallest buildings in Dallas

Bank of America Plaza – 72 floors

Renaissance Tower – 56 floors

Bank One Tower – 60 floors

Chase Tower – 55 floors

Fountain Place – 62 floors


Relive the 1970s Dallas skyline

Of course, lots of folks got to know the Dallas skyline thanks to "Dallas":

Selected photos by Kenny Tong/

Eric Aasen is KERA’s managing editor. He helps lead the station's news department, including radio and digital reporters, producers and newscasters. He also oversees, the station’s news website, and manages the station's digital news projects. He reports and writes stories for the website and contributes pieces to KERA radio. He's discussed breaking news live on various public radio programs, including The Takeaway, Here & Now and Texas Standard, as well as radio and TV programs in New Zealand and the United Kingdom.